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Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There
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Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There

2.57 of 5 stars 2.57  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Originally published in 1854, Ten Nights in a Bar-Room was the most important American temperance novel, rivaling Uncle Tom's Cabin for popularity. It satisfied the appetite for the sensational and the lurid, yet at the same time was endorsed by all the clergy.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Applewood Books (first published 1854)
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Jun 10, 2015 Erica added it
Shelves: alcohol
Second highest selling book in 19th century America (behind Uncle Tom's cabin)--but of course, that doesn't make it good reading! A lurid prohibitionist screed (I suspect most ppl read it for its luridness than its moral message), including death, insanity, destroyed families, broken & untrusted laws and men of laws, etc.
Some interesting/telling moments around arguments for temperance in the time (1854), property values in relationship to new saloons, etc.
Read for Masters programme to contextualise Uncle Tom's Cabin

Provides biblical arguments to support temperance, despite the obvious flaw in that prohibition goes against God's rationale for giving humans free will. Even the drinkers vote for temperance in this book. In my experience people with a drink problem are very rarely the first to recognise their problem and therefore would not request this drastic salvation. The impression created is that all patrons of the inn are helpless to drink and
Apparently, this was one of the most important temperance novels of the 19th century, and it reads as such. This novel is essentially an overwrought, worst-possible-case guide to bar-room life that resonates with sensationalism and unintentional hilariousness more often than realism. As the characters descend further and further into total debasement, the narrator peppers the text with "support the Maine Law" messages. Obviously, I'm taking this novel out of its historical context with this revi ...more
Having been raised myself in a bar next door to the author's home town of Fort Montgomery, I am fascinated to read what is called the best Temperance novel of the 19th century. Set in the 1850s, this morality tale portrays the evil of alcohol in the story of a mill owner who sells his mill to build a tavern in town. Told by a visitor to the town who stays at the tavern for ten days over a period of ten years, he shows how customers and owner are all too weak to resist the temptations of demon ru ...more
Tony Poerio
Odd book by today's standards.

But strangely entertaining, and insightful from an historical perspective.

Like Reefer Madness, but for alcohol.
Tim Kruse
Sep 26, 2007 Tim Kruse rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those wondering if drinking isn't so bad...
It’s your typical late nineteenth century writing, not my favorite, but quite descriptive and to the point. Maybe old school for some, but the transcending truths of the lifestyle surrounding drinking should make people think twice before indulging in a needless practice.

Tom Rowe
Since I regularly play in the melodrama, The Drunkard, which is based upon this book, I really enjoyed getting some more background on the characters. Otherwise, I probably would not have rated it so highly.

this is one of those classic turn of the century novels about the evils of liquor. I founf it interesting, but I mainly read it because it is a classic leather bound copy in my family.
K.A. Masters
T. S. Arthur's "Ten Nights in a Bar Room" is 250 pages of heavy-handed, sanctimonious Temperance propaganda.
Amber Ziegler
A ridiculous yet amusing temperance novel that was popular in 19th century America
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Full name: Timothy Shay Arthur. Founder of the magazines Arthur's Home Gazette, Arthur's Home Magazine, and The Children's Hour, and editor of the Baltimore Athenaeum and Baltimore Saturday Visitor.
More about T.S. Arthur...
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